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Japan and the US pivot to the Asia Pacific

Dian, Matteo (2013) Japan and the US pivot to the Asia Pacific. Strategic Update (13.1). LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper analyses the consequences of the US pivot to Asia on the US-Japan alliance and on Japanese foreign and security policies. On the one hand, the US pivot is reassuring for Tokyo, since it seeks to ‘rebalance’ Chinese military ascendency and to strengthen extended deterrence in the region. On the other hand, it contributes to the acceleration of the ‘normalisation’ of Japanese security policies, speeding the process of overcoming the institutional self-binding prescriptions that underpinned Japan’s post-war pacifism. This process, inaugurated by the first post-Cold War renewal of the US-Japan Alliance in 1997 and culminating with the adoption of the ‘dynamic defence concept’ in 2010 and the relaxation of the Three Principles of Arms Control in 2012, created a vicious cycle for Japan. During the post-war era, pacifist selfbinding prescriptions functioned as ‘anti-entrapment devices’ preventing Tokyo from becoming involved in the conflicts that marked the Cold War in Asia. Today an increasingly ‘normal’ Japan is no longer able to resist US pressure for a more active role in the alliance and less unequal burden sharing. Moreover, China’s military rise renders Tokyo ever more dependent on US forces. These trends compel Japan to accept further integration into the US military apparatus in the region and to take additional steps towards the definitive abandonment of Japan’s pacifist identity.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2021 00:23

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